Nigeria Records 100,000 Cases of Clubfoot Annually, Says NOA
The Nigerian Orthopaedic Association (NOA) says about 100,000 cases of clubfoot are recorded in the country every year.
According to a statement signed on Thursday in Calabar by the President of NOA, Prof. Kunle Olawepo, to commemorate the 2021 World Clubfoot Day, the Association said thousands of children were living with the debilitating condition globally.
He described Clubfoot as the most common musculoskeletal birth deformity, affecting 200,000 newborn babies worldwide each year.
He added that although the cause of clubfoot is unknown, it may be a combination of genetics and environment.
He identified risk factors to include family history; if either of the parents or their other children have/had clubfoot, the baby is more likely to have clubfoot as well.
Other risk factors include congenital conditions, environment and not having enough amniotic fluid during pregnancy.
Olawepo stated that the objective of the day was to raise awareness about clubfoot as well as its treatment through the ponseti method; a non-surgical treatment that involves the manipulation of the feet temporary bracing.
“Clubfoot is a congenital deformity; it is also known as congenital talipes. When it occurs, the foot appears to have been rotated internally at the ankle.
“Without treatment, the clubfoot deformity causes a lifetime of disability as it affect difficult in walking.
“People with untreated clubfoot find it difficult to access education, employment and experience exclusion from the society.
“Clubfoot is the most common musculoskeletal birth deformity, affecting 200,000 newborn babies globally each year. About 100,000 cases are reported in Nigeria annually,” he said.
He said that avoiding alcohol, avoding smoking cigarettes as well as drugs not approved by a medical doctor during pregnancy decreases the risk of developing clubfoot.
Most cases of clubfoot, he said, were successfully treated with non-surgical methods by the orthopaedic surgeon in a technique that may include a combination of manipulation, stretching, casting and bracing.
He called on the government to carry out massive health education campaign through the media to create awareness on the condition which he said is treatable.